Mental Health Checkup
Posted by Improving Lives Counseling | Articles
Parents love, nourish, protect, and support their children, yet when faced with a possible diagnosis of mental illness, many slip into denial. The National Alliance on Mental Health reports four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder and children ages 9-17, twenty-one percent have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder. They further report that, “half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14.” Today, children are required to have a physical before taking part in sports, to provide immunization records when registering for school, and most make regular visits to optometrists and dentists, yet the notion of a mental health checkup or screening remains less accepted. Many mental diseases and behavioral disorders are highly treatable if identified early, and for many people, changes in the health insurance industry have made mental health checkups and screenings a covered service. Parents no longer have to wait for “the incidence of a disorder” or a call from a principal or teacher.
A child’s mental and emotional needs are not as obvious as their physical needs, however, they are just as important. In home nourishing, nurturing, love, security, acceptance, and play, although important, fail to diagnosis or cure behavioral disorders or mental health diseases. Medical Journals, pediatricians, psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists strongly suggest all children from toddler through adolescence receive mental health screening.
Improving Lives Counseling Services is here to help, guide, and support you through this process. Our counselors and therapists understand the effect mental disorders have on the functioning of an individual and the diminished quality of life it leads to. Early onset trajectories characterized by persistent behavioral problems increases the risk for deficiencies and psychiatric disorders. We have the knowledge, experience, assessment tools, and tests, and like so many others in the medical community, urge parents to take advantage of screening services.
Mental health screening as part of your child’s preventive care might be new to you. However, the perfectly healthy looking child who is doing well in school and has lots of friends cannot be ruled out. Is it a phase or a serious problem? Is it cultural or environmental? All children experience emotional challenges. Let the counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services provide the answers. Call us.